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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

China Claims Detection of COVID Virus on Packaging on Imported Beef


The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission stated that three samples of outer packaging of frozen boneless beef from a Marfrig Global Foods plant in Brazil yielded evidence of SARS-CoV-2 virus.  The consignment entered China on August 7th through the port of Qingdao and was transported to Wuhan on August 17th.


Authorities in China also claim recovery of coronavirus from the outer packaging of beef imported from Argentina. The Municipality of Jinan in Shandong Province has apparently identified virus from samples of beef shipped from Brazil, Bolivia and even New Zealand. Given that the last-implicated nation is free of COVID-19 it is questioned what inspectors are sampling, how assays are conducted and whether there is a possibility of contamination after arrival in China, given transport from port to destination. 


The numerous reports of SARS-CoV-2 virus follow an intensive program in China to monitor imported beef and chicken products and packaging for the presence of the infective agent. Surveillance commenced in mid-summer and is ongoing. Through the end of September, a total of 22 positives out of three million samples were documented although specific sampling and testing protocols have not been disclosed.

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane